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Grant number like: FO-268646-20

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Seiji Shirane
CUNY Research Foundation, City College (New York, NY 10031-9101)

Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2020 – 5/31/2021

Gateway Imperialism: Colonial Taiwan and Japanese Expansion into South China and Southeast Asia, 1895–1945

Research and writing leading to a book on the role of Taiwan, Japan's first overseas colony, in expanding Japan's empire from 1895 to 1945.

This project examines how the Japanese transformed its first overseas colony, Taiwan, into a regional gateway for further southern expansion from 1895 to 1945. It challenges the dominant analytic framework of empire that has privileged the metropole as an imperial center vis-à-vis its colonial peripheries. Taking advantage of Taiwan's cultural and geographical proximity to China and Southeast Asia, Japanese colonial authorities in Taiwan developed new strategies to compete with Chinese and Western powers for hegemony across the East and South China seas. Drawing on multi-lingual archives across six countries, this project contends that Japanese imperial ideas and practices were not simply dictated by the Tokyo central government but also emanated from Taiwan to its neighboring regions. It contributes to our historical understanding of the tense geopolitical relations in Asia today related to war memories, identities, and nationalisms that are the legacies of Japan's southern empire.